The Baltimore Ravens own the series with the hapless Oakland Raiders, winning 10 of the last 11 meetings straight up, going 8-3 against the spread. Baltimore completes the back half of a season-opening two-game AFC West road trip when it visits Oakland Sunday afternoon.
Point spread: This game was off the board early in the week at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)
NFL pick, via Odds Shark computer: 24.2-16.8 Ravens
Why the Ravens can cover the spread
Baltimore opened the season last week with a tough 19-13 loss at Denver, just missing the cover as a four-point underdog. The Ravens led that game 13-9 late into the third quarter, but Joe Flacco threw a pick-six that gave the Broncos the lead. Baltimore still had the spread covered, until Denver tacked on a field goal with just over two minutes to go. The Ravens then drove inside the Broncos' red zone in the final minute, but on a 3rd-and-10 Flacco threw another pick in the end zone.
Playing its first game under new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, Baltimore only came up with 173 yards of total offense Sunday. But the Denver defense had something to do with that, too. Meanwhile, the Ravens' stop unit limited the Broncos to 219 yards on 65 plays—that's just 3.4 yards per play. Last week was just a bump in the road for Baltimore.
Why the Raiders can cover the spread
The Raiders began their season last week with a 33-13 loss at home to Cincinnati, and there's no use trying to put lipstick on that pig—it was an ugly effort. Oakland, playing its first game under new head coach Jack Del Rio, trailed 33-0 before it hit the board, got outgained 396-246 and watched its starting quarterback leave the game with a thumb injury. Oh, well. As they say, there's nowhere to go but up.
The Raiders are trying to build from within and have a core group of young talent to work with, including quarterback Derek Carr, rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper and linebacker Khalil Mack. It's just going to take some time.
Oakland's only three victories last season all came at home, as upsets of three decent teams in Kansas City, San Francisco and Buffalo. The Raiders might not pull off an upset this Sunday, but if they can avoid the turnovers, get the ball to Cooper a few times and make a few stops on defense they could keep this one close.
Baltimore is simply the better team here, playing on the road where the spread will be a little more amenable. The smart money here resides with the Ravens.
The Ravens are 10-1 SU and 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games against the Raiders.
The total has gone under in six of the Ravens' last eight games in September.
The Raiders are 1-5 SU and ATS in their last six games against the AFC North.